Poll: New Jersey voters want to decriminalize pot

A new poll shows support for making possession of less than two ounces a civil offense

By Jillian Rayfield

Published June 11, 2013 1:30PM (EDT)

  (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-602539p1.html'>Atomazul</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Atomazul via Shutterstock)

A new poll by the Democratic firm Lake Research Partners, on behalf of the Drug Policy Alliance, finds that the majority of New Jersey voters think possession of small amounts of marijuana should not result in a criminal charge.

The poll, which surveyed 600 registered voters, found that 61 percent are in favor of making possession of less than two ounces of pot a civil offense, punishable only by a fine. Currently in New Jersey, the penalty for possession is a $1000 fine and 6 months in jail, the Star-Ledger reports.

From the Star-Ledger:

There hasn’t been any action on the decriminalization bills in a while. A bill (S1977) that would decriminalize the possession of up to 50 grams, or just under 2 ounces of marijuana, was introduced 13 months ago and has not been posted for a committee hearing. Another bill (A1465), which would decriminalize up to 15 grams of pot, passed in the Assembly last year but stalled in the Senate. Gov. Chris Christie has said he would veto any decriminalization bill.


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Decriminalization Drug Laws New Jersey Pot War On Drugs